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The SMNI probe: Another House offensive against the Dutertes? | The Freeman

It appears to many of us independent observers that the war between the camps of Speaker Martin Ferdinand Romualdez and the group of the Dutertes has come to a point of no return. Both 2028 presidentiables, Inday Sara Duterte and Speaker Martin Romualdez, have crossed the Rubicon, so to say. The vice president allegedly called somebody in the House "tambaloslos" and the speaker cannot wash his hands of the series of what appears to us as palpably offensive, defensive, and retaliatory moves against the Dutertes.

Aside from removing the Confidential and Intelligence Funds of DepEd and the Office of the Vice President, and the removal of Duterte allies like GMA and Congressman Isidro Ungab from the House Leadership, the House under the control and supervision of the Speaker continues to hit all that are allied with the Dutertes. There is a consolidated House resolution, now in the plenary, on the proposal to urge the president to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in the initiative to dig into the alleged summary executions and reported extrajudicial killings in connection with former president Rodrigo Duterte's so-called war against drugs, This column does not buy the crap that the speaker is not behind these moves.

It is the considered view of this column that confidential and intelligence funds are neither proper nor ethical and the House moves to remove them should be commended by the people. The general public also applauds the House initiative to allow the ICC to proceed with its investigation. The country's withdrawal from Rome's statute was only after the initiation of complaints filed by the victims as early as 2017 when the Philippines was still a state party to that international law. The current House moves to investigate the SMNI for irresponsible broadcasting that supposedly contained allegations on the alleged outrageous amounts of expenses by the speaker in frequently accompanying his cousin, the president, in his frequent global peregrinations.

But while we do applaud these House initiatives, we are only stressing that the motives behind all these seemingly noble and high-level investigations and inquiries are less than sublime. These